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223 lead free reloading


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#16 Plumas

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Posted 03 March 2019 - 10:04 PM

There's not a lot to say but 'good results' aczraad !

 

You've learned the drill...different bullets with different powders, vary the COAL ...Each rifle has it's personality.

I've tried loading to just off the lands but my rifle likes some space, can't exactly explain it,it just does.

 

Like you, my most accurate loads are not the hottest possible...in the 223 I use Barnes and Varget...for sure other bullets may not do as well with Varget, or Varget not so well with Speer, etc...but each bullet will have a 'best accuracy' with whatever powder you choose.

It may just not be the most accurate that bullet can do with another powder but so what, you've found good groups with your recipes, 1/2-3/4" is darn good shootin'.

 

I use Varget cause I got so much of the darn stuff I'll burn my supply down before making another purchase.

My 36gr Barnes VG loads with a COAL of 2.225 are mid-level at 3400 fps but it'll shoot 1" at 200 yards as long as I have the stamina to hold still so I'm done looking for better results. 

 

If I find a ball powder that shot as well I'll most likely change, would love to have it run through the meter cleanly without cracking sticks.

 

If you don't have one get yourself a chronograph. Running your loads for velocity can be an eye opener compared to published numbers.


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#17 Z-MAX

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Posted 04 March 2019 - 05:34 AM

Plumas is absolutely correct..
A chronograph is a essential tool in a reloaders bag of tricks.
I find that my loads are rarely close to the advertised speeds.

I run my loads through a ballistics program, and mark my turrets on my prairie dog
Rifles in 100 yard increments.

My chrony saves me a pile of sight in ammo.

#18 aczraad

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Posted 04 March 2019 - 06:59 PM

Plumas, ZMax, thank you guys. A Chrono is something I will have to look into as funds allow. I only focussed on the best groups because I figured that's what the load/gun are capable of. Frustrating when I get a 1/2" group, then a 1 1/2" group from same loads. That's why I believe the variables are me loading or shooting. The way I see it, if it shoots a good group once, it's capable of doing it again. Again, thank you for the input, I really appreciate it.

#19 Plumas

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Posted 04 March 2019 - 07:56 PM

Yes it's you...I say that with all kindness. Maybe saying its us is more accurate.

If the rifle is producing under 1"  3-5 shot groups without flyers then a new group opens up using the same ammo I'm afraid its the shooter that is the variable.

Consistent 1.5" groups...its the ammo.

 

But I say again, don't worry...happens to all of us. If shooting was so precise that 'we' are taken out of the equation it would be as dull as locking the rifle into a vise that cannot move producing consistent groups every time without us....no fun.

 

You shoot, you hit most, miss a few, readjust for the wind, shoot again, get up and walk around for a minute then re-plant yourself and try again.

 

its funny when we shoot at a 8" dinger 300 yards away and hit it and see it move and hear the plunk we feel successful even if the hit was on an edge 4" off the center where we were aiming, but a group on paper that is 1.5 instead of 1" and we feel we've screwed up. If you shoot you gotta get used to it...we all visit the same emotional highs and lows.



#20 Z-MAX

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Posted 05 March 2019 - 02:19 PM

Amen...plumas

My groups suffer if I drink to much coffee before I go to the range.
Years ago I was shooting on a 500 meter range at a sportsman's club I belonged to.
Had it all to myself.
Laid a towel on the stock of my Winchester model 70 coyote 25 WSSM,for a perfect cheek weld.
Got myself completely relaxed, and started a slow five shot group.

After the 3rd shot I feel asleep.. seriously! I even drooled a little. Haha..
Woke up and shot the other 2 rounds.

Drove down range to check my Target.. 5 shots inside of 4 inches at 548 yards.
Some days you got it.. some you don't.

#21 Plumas

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Posted 05 March 2019 - 08:47 PM

Ha Z-MAX:  that's a funny story...and totally believable.

 

You found 'the zone'...a good trait for a shooter to master.

Totally calm and great shooting results !


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#22 DittoHead

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Posted 05 March 2019 - 09:35 PM

After the 3rd shot I feel asleep.. seriously! I even drooled a little. Haha..
Woke up and shot the other 2 rounds.

 

:lol:

 

It happens to me when I'm sitting in a blind. :P


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#23 aczraad

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Posted 07 March 2019 - 05:58 PM

That's hilarious, I must admit, I feel asleep deer hunting quite a few times when younger, but was usually preceded by playing football then drinking beer all night! Hopefully I can load this weekend and the weather breaks so I can get out Monday morning, will report back with results! Thanks again y'all

#24 Red

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Posted 08 March 2019 - 06:59 PM

This year I did NOT fall asleep in the stand!

I killed out in the first 25 minutes and then went back to the camper for a nap.


Protector of the nuts.


#25 aczraad

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Posted 11 March 2019 - 02:05 PM

Have an update, I got some decent groups, using shorter coal, 2.25 down from 2.26 were better for both guns. Big question, can I go a little shorter? 2.245, 2.24, without raising pressure too much? The axis is going to stay at 2.25, but I would like to get Winchester shooting better, it's nicer to shoot! Feels like a real gun, plus it's the same model as my main deer rifle, so it's like practice. The Axis plastic irritates me and I'm not ready to invest in a Boyd's yet. Thanks for any advice y'all!

#26 Plumas

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Posted 12 March 2019 - 08:09 AM

SAAMI says 2.125 is minimum COAL for .223.

 

Don't think you'll find better accuracy by going too much shorter than 2.220 though...its up to your rifle to tell you.

Its the jump to the rifling a bullet makes that effects accuracy and all bullets and weights have their own ogive design which (with the seating depth) dictates long long that jump is.

 

My rifle's COAL choice is 2.225 with 'my' bullet (Barnes 36gr VG) , accuracy started dropping at 2.223, or above 2.230...don't see a enough of difference between those two measures (2.225-2.230) to loose sleep over.

Your minimum length may depend more on how your rifle feeds out of the magazine...too short and a bullet may not engage the ramp smoothly. 

 

My goal is not to hit a pin at 500 yards...it's a 2"x 8" target at 300 yards 75% of the time.

The time to actually create ammo to extreme tolerances is simply un-necessary for my objective.

A long range bench-rest competitor worried about 1/4" differences between him and the next fellow is not going to be happy with my load variables...a middle range varmint shooter out for a day in the sun would accept my process and at least not look at me sideways.

 

I don't stress over case weight or brand or check case volume or measure neck thickness and throw out those cases outside a certain range.

I re-load a case 5 times and then they go to a salvage yard...just my rule. I always full length re-size and run all cases through a trimmer for consistent length. It's over-kill to some but it works for me. With moderate loads I've had no issues with neck splits or primer pocket expansion.

 

My decisions  are based on whatever load variables I can put together to stay under 1" at 100 yards...velocity is less important than that 3/4" or better circle I aim to stay within. But with some bullets or powders I'll take an inch+ and be happy.....once those bullets are gone I won't buy them again though.

 

If some company put together sample packs of  15-20 same weight bullets each from different manufacturers I think they'd sell a ton...buying a box of 50-100 and discovering within 20 shots that they aren't for you is a real waste.

 

Pressure is important to understand...read up about accepted published standards. Read up about SAAMI, and google 'bullet ogive' to learn what they are about. 

SAAMI sets the rules of construction which commercial ammo is built to. Their site is open to the public as is all their published pressure and case dimension info.

 

SAAMI.org

 

Baby steps work...just don't stop stepping.


Edited by Plumas, 12 March 2019 - 04:11 PM.

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#27 Z-MAX

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Posted 12 March 2019 - 09:32 AM

Again I'm with you plumas

As I replied in the personal opinion post.
Don't loose track of your (task at hand)
If it's to kill squirrel sized varmints @ out to several hundred yards, I wouldn't drive myself
Nuts over tenths of an inch. You Will miss some.. we all do.

As plumas said.. don't stop trying to achieve the best from your loads.
It's part of the fun. but in my opinion..the lack of teeny tiny groups certainly isn't going to ruin a day in the field.

#28 aczraad

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Posted 12 March 2019 - 11:35 AM

Thanks guys, I will reevaluate my objective. It IS to shoot ground squirrels at 300 yards, a little farther than I'm comfortable with the WSM.....plus, it's fun to roll your own. Maybe I'm getting to picky. I'll post some results from yesterday when I get home. Thanks again!!

#29 aczraad

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Posted 12 March 2019 - 08:20 PM

Yesterday results from adjusting oal, I tried 2.26,2.255,and 2.25. 2x3 shot groups, 100yd, apx 10mph wind right to left, high 40s. All with 28gr TAC.
Axis shot them all well
2.26 0.73 & 0.42
2.255 0.62 & 0.5
2.25 0.37 & 0.19 - taking out one called flyer of my own doing. I'm sticking with 2.25 and 28 of TAC for the axis and this bullet. I'm happy with it, now to zero new scope and go hunting!
Winchester was ok, 2.26 & 2.255 we're around one inch.
2.25 0.85 & 0.7
I feel it can be better. I loaded up 100 round of the 2.25 and had a little powder and 7 primed cases. Made some just a touch shorter to see how it will do. If no better, I may go back to H335 for that gun.
I was hoping to find one load for both, but if not, no big deal, I enjoy loading, so it's not a chore! I could always try a different powder in time. I'm pretty happy I have a good load for one that I feel could be better under perfect conditions. Baby steps, just keep stepping....I like that! Thank you for all the help gentlemen, now just waiting for April so I can head to Alturas, unless someone has a place around Redding/Chico I can go.....hint, hint!

#30 Z-MAX

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Posted 13 March 2019 - 04:48 AM

Good work aczraad..

If you don't already have these.. in time you may want to pick up these tools.
They have made life a little easier on me.

On the left is a RCBS gold medal match micrometer bullet seat die..
On the right a Lee quick trim set up..

Around $150 worth of tools..but if your gonna burn a lot of ,223 it's well worth the money in my opinion.


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